Brock University chemist and chemical company create new green metal coating

A Brock University chemist and a Burlington chemical company have patented a green coating system that protects metals against corrosion.Organic chemistry instructor Paul Zelisko and Vanchem Performance Chemicals created technology they named Greencoat, which uses silicon rather than heavy metals to bind coatings to both metal surfaces and paint.“It’s a water-based system that, for all intents and purposes, has reactive sand in it,” says Zelisko. “If the material happens to get flushed out or it leaks, you’re effectively releasing sand and water into the environment.”Sheets made out of steel or other metals need to be ‘pre-treated’ with a substance that will guard them against damage caused by rust and salt. This substance must be able to stick not only to the metal but also to any paint that’s applied to the sheets on top of the coating.The challenge is that the metal is an inorganic substance, meaning it is not made from a plant or animal, but the paint that is applied to the metal is an organic substance.Traditional coating systems use heavy metals – such as zinc phosphate, iron phosphate or chrome – to enable the inorganic and organic substances to be able to stick to one another. Phosphates released into the environment causes various algal blooms in lakes and rivers, damaging aquatic plant and animal life.Also used in the process are solvents – substances used to dissolve other substances – that have in the past polluted the environment.Unlike conventional methods, Zelisko and Vanchem’s system involves a two-step process. First, a base layer is applied to the metal. Water mixed with silica, which is basically sand, is sprayed onto the metal, creating a chemical bond with the metal. This cleans the metal but also deposits silica onto the surface.This coating not only protects the metal but acts as a primer for the second layer, which is designed to bond well to paint.The second layer contains polysilicates, the basis of which is silicon, “the second-most abundant element in the Earth’s crust,” says a company report. Silicates can be modified to stick to both metals and paints.When the industry wants to determine whether or not a coating product is effective, the treated metal sheets are put into salt-spray chambers, where a fine mist of salt water is continually sprayed onto the metal until it starts to show signs of corrosion.The industry standard is around one thousand hours, says Zelisko. “Our coatings ranged anywhere from 1,800 to 3,000 hours, in some cases almost three times as good as what the industry requires.”When coming in contact with metal, salty water acts as a type of catalyst, enabling oxygen to mix with metal, resulting in corrosion.The Brock-Vanchem innovation is a sign of the times, says Ian McLeod, vice president of Vanchem Performance Chemicals.“The industry has switched over to greener technologies; they want to get rid of the heavy metals,” he says. “Large corporations and companies want to be environmental stewards. They want to be able to say, ‘look at what we’re doing, we’ve replaced the old zinc phosphate technology with a new silane-based technology that doesn’t have any environmental impacts.’”McLeod says that the initial price of a ‘green’ coating may be more expensive than a zinc phosphate one. But, factoring in environmental disposal, maintenance and other costs associated with non-green coatings, companies could save money in the long run.Working with a university to create this technology is very beneficial, says McLeod: “I don’t think we would be where we are today without Paul Zelisko’s expertise in his team.”The Ontario Centres of Excellence supported the research partnership through its OCE Collaborative Research Program.“This innovation is on track to demonstrate some real economic benefits for Ontario and is a great example of what can happen when academia and industry work together,” said Gillian Sheldon, OCE’s business development manager. “Ontario Centres of Excellence has a long history of supporting the automotive sector, and we are pleased to collaborate on this innovative cleantech solution.”The team received the patent for Greencoat silane-based pretreatment on Aug. 2 in the United States, with Canadian and European patents pending. read more

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Duke of Cambridge says a betting man would bet on extinction of

first_imgThe UK is determined to do all we can to show global leadership in fighting the illegal wildlife trade and protecting the world’s precious wildlifeAndrea Leadsom The Duke of Cambridge with a rhino mascotCredit: Kensington Palace/PA But he called for nations to impose a ban on the “abhorrent” trade of ivory within their borders as one of the measures to ward off the decline.The Duke said: “China has already signalled a total ban, the USA has instituted one, and other nations, including the United Kingdom, are considering it.”We know now what previous generations did not – ivory treated as a commodity is the fuel of extinction.”Ivory is not something to be desired and when removed from an elephant it is not beautiful. So, the question is: why are we still trading it? We need governments to send a clear signal that trading in ivory is abhorrent.” The Duke of Cambridge has urged the Government to go ahead with a total ban on the domestic ivory trade and said if he were a betting man he would wager the extinction of elephants.William, speaking at an international conference on the illegal wildlife trade, said endangered animals are still being slaughtered in “horrifying numbers” and called for an acceleration in efforts to tackle the crisis.He told the summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, that a “betting man would still bet on extinction” of elephants after a census revealed a 30 per cent decline in the African variety over seven years. While the international trade has been banned since 1989, it is still possible to sell antique ivory in the UK as long as it was carved before 1947.William said there is “much to be proud of” in the efforts to halt the extinction of animals such as rhinos, elephants, pangolins and lions.”But the organised crime syndicates we are up against are much more agile than we are. We are getting cleverer, but we need to admit that they are getting much cleverer as well,” he added.”Their brutality continues to escalate, with many more rangers killed since we gathered in London (at a previous summit) two years ago.”Andrea Leadsom, the Environment Secretary, announced a series of measures to tackle the illegal wildlife trade at the conference, doubling the UK’s investment in dealing with the problem to £13 million. The Duke of Cambridge with a rhino mascot A new UK-China arrangement will train African border forces to spot and tackle smugglers peddling illegal animal products and the UK will also work with Vietnamese authorities to improve border security in the south-east Asian country to stop trafficking.There will also be British military training for an elite new force of anti-poaching trackers in key countries such as Malawi and support for Interpol and other international organisations to tackle the problem.Ms Leadsom said: “The UK is determined to do all we can to show global leadership in fighting the illegal wildlife trade and protecting the world’s precious wildlife.”Today we are committing to double our investment with an extra £13 million to tackle all aspects of the illegal wildlife trade. This builds on our plans to ban the sale of modern-day ivory, an important first step as we press for a complete ban.”This global issue will only be solved through international co-operation and the decisive action agreed in Hanoi will help to protect our wild animals for future generations.”She also confirmed that world leaders would be invited back to London in 2018, to ensure the global commitments agreed to stop the illegal wildlife trade were delivered. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The Duke is on a two-day official visit to Vietnam to highlight the damaging effects the illegal trade in wildlife has on some of the world’s best-loved animals.In recent years William has campaigned with ex-footballer David Beckham and former Chinese basketball star Yao Ming to end the trade in ivory and other products.On Wednesday, the Duke visited a Vietnamese primary school to learn how children are being encouraged to protect endangered rhinos – with the help of a storybook about a young rhino.last_img read more

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